Hey all, new guy here(please be kind). I haven't yet delved into the world of model railroading, but it's something that has interested me since a child. I have been customizing action figures for the past 2 years now, and I can't get rid of the nagging itch to set up a railroad. I would like to ask some general questions(you've probably heard them all 100 times) but here goes: 1. Can you get away with a "cheap" set up? Not looking to cheese out, but not looking to empty my savings. 2. What is the best/easiest scale to work in? Also, copper track or alloy(?) I hear alloy(not sure if that's what it's called) is far better. 3. I have a folding table about 5ft long, and maybe 4 ft wide, is this sufficent enough to do a small setup? 4. Do I build the setup directly on the table, or do I have to get some plywood to cover the table? 5. What is the best “starter” setup? Should I buy pieces, or get a complete setup? 6. How much actual “customizing” do the things like buildings/bridges, roads, sidewalks need? I know the skies the limit with a lot of these things, but basically? I’m not looking to build skyscrapers and such. I realize some building and painting, but other than that? 7. How hard is it to make “levels” such as hills, lakes, forest, etc?? 8. Layout the tracks, and build around them, or vice versa? 9. Good companies for supplies? 10. Any special tools I may need? Thanks for all your help. I am very interested in creating some kind of smaller set up than I’ve seen so far, just to see if this is a hobby I want to fully get into. Thanks again!